Book Review Stitch and Sew by Aneela Hoey, softback published by Stash Books (C&T Publishing). ISBN 9781617456398, price 22.99 in the UK, available from www.searchpress.com
31 embroidery and stitch projects that will have you drooling. Sew and embroider all manner of bags, clutches, notebooks with contemporary stitch designs. Aimed at the younger under 40 end of the market, this book is perfect for those who need to know all the sewing basics. You’ll find simple projects to hone your newfound skills. The basics and techniques section is comprehensive, making this a great book for the beginner. This section also includes all the embroidery stitches with diagrams and photos. It takes you through the notebook sampler page by page. The rest of the book is largely taken up by the projects. These have wide appeal, with easy to follow instructions and clear photography. You can download and print the patterns. It’s all about simple practical sewing and learning embroidery in a way you will love.
Book Review Head To Toe Winter Knits by Monica Russel, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782216087, price 9.99 available from www.searchpress.com
You cannot beat 100 patterns for this price. A good variety of hand knitting patterns including hats, all manner of scarves and neck, wrist and leg warmers, cuffs, boot toppers, all manner of gloves and mitts plus headgear. From plain knits to stripes, cable, fair-isle, lacy and more. This book of big patterns has big appeal. Designs are mainly for women, over 90% with a few men’s designs and children’s designs. Clear photos and easy to follow pattern instructions.
Book Review Sew Beautiful Quilted Bags by Akemi Shibata, softback, published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782216308, price 14.99 available from www.searchpress.com
What a fabulous book. 28 bags from Japan that you are sure to want to make. When it says beautiful, believe it. The author has a signature style that really speaks volumes. Elegant and stylish. Great bag shapes, beautiful fabrics, practical style. These are bags you will be proud to make and own. Different patterns include purses, pouches, shoulder bags, backpacks, cases, totes and more. There really is something for everyone. I think that, like me, you will want to make each one. It is often hard to find something different in the bag world, but this book offers a unique and distinguished feel. Learn techniques such as patchwork, applique, embroidery and beading. Use scraps of fabric and turn them into works of art. Clear instructions with colour diagrams and photographs. Full size templates are given where necessary for pattern parts but you have to trace them. The finished bags look fantastic but I do prefer to make fabric handles. There is also a lovely embroidery sampler and a sewing case in redwork. An applique collage is also included. In addition at the back of the book, you will find basic quilting techniques with personal tips. This includes finishing techniques and making covered buttons. There is a short embroidery stitch guide. Most importantly at the the back of the book you’ll find pattern sheets for all the projects – these are full size. They are to be photocopies or traced as the sheets are double-sided. I am happy to highly recommend this wonderful book. I cannot wait to see more of this author’s work in print. Don’t keep it to yourself, this is a book to buy for all your sewing friends and bag makers. Just as good as her first book, but a few less patterns.
Progress is sometimes hard to come by. No matter how hard you try progress can be elusive. This happens in all walks of life and it certainly happens in textiles.
Sometimes it’s that the ideas will not come (never suffer with that one), often it’s not having the right materials and occasionally you are stumped in great need of a technique that you do not know.
Experimenting can help overcome this – trying out different things and thinking outside the box.
This second week of January 2019, I spent launching a brand new, exciting range of snowflake fabrics. There are a total of 16 mix n match fabrics in my new permanent range. I am delighted with these.
I also made great progress with my latest Winter Inspirations quilt at last. I am trying to ignore another idea I have had for a second winter quilt until much later in the year. This one has not followed my initial sketches too closely. I tried out an idea that does not work either, but I have a final design. I am hoping it comes together quickly now and will be added to the website by the end of the month.
I was more than pleased to return to hand quilting this week and a UFO that has been sitting there for a few months. I am hand stitching a patchwork jacket using a running stitch. The wadding is silk and the front is a patchwork of fabrics with a blue lining.
I finished a cardigan and hat and started knitting a cabled waistcoat. I have altered the basic stitch pattern to make it unique to me. I think this really is the last of my Rowan lightweight double knitting wool bought in the 1990s!
Enjoy your creative projects, whatever you are making. See you soon when I will be telling you of my first speaking engagement at a quilt show in April.
I keep reminding myself that we are still in the first week of January 2019 and this is not a race. January is not known for go-getters! I’m out of the starting blocks and winning the race.
Notwithstanding, I have so far designed over 20 new fabrics. 17 of them are snowflake designs. Not all quite uploaded yet but I am getting there. As if that is not enough for one week’s work, I have also designed the Winter Inspirations quilt and what I have done so far is looking fantastic. This quilt, following on from the Summer Inspirations and Autumn Inspirations quilts, consists of several techniques. It is part of my Quilt As You Learn patterns. There is little more inspiring or confidence building than learning as you quilt. The patterns are a mix of tutorial and step by step photographic and written instructions. I am aiming to have this new quilt finished by the end of the month.
The fabrics have been designed for this quilt, although I am not using every design. They are available to buy with or without the pattern. Earlier in the week I designed some new rust inspired fabrics. I am also designing other new fabrics for the quilt above.
Elsewhere I went out to an exhibition in Lincoln. The Land, Sea and Air exhibition, I found a little disappointing.
My own exhibition of mainly paintings with some small textile pieces that are framed is at The Montgomery 25th January – 21st February 2019. It is in the cafe, which is open to the public at all times the Montgomery is open, whether the actual cafe is serving drinks or not. All works on show are available for sale.
The Colour ecourse has been launched and is a fantastic course for anyone who wants to learn about colour for quilters and textile artists. Learn how colours go together, what is right and wrong and most importantly something that no course tackles to my knowledge, how to go beyond the colour wheel.
More next week, stay creative.
Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2019
Best of 2018 Review. Yes there were good things about 2018 but it was more of a year that did not go according to plan.
What was the plan? With the ugly three-headed monster known as Brexit looming, I planned to travel. Big time. Travel like I had never travelled before. See as many places as I could. Workwise I had travel plans – travel means inspiration.
What went wrong? Through no fault of my own, I had next to no travel money, so I made it to the one place I had pre-booked – Lisbon. I for one am sincerely hoping that Brexit can still be blown away and I retain my freedom of movement.
I introduced so many new ecourses, tutorials and even quilt patterns that I began to feel like a one-woman factory churning out inspiration by the bucket load to an audience that is increasing day by day. I am feeling a positive flow of energy to my work.
My new website launched this year and an Instagram account. Both looking good and receptive people building daily. Phew – but this is like a job within a job. I want to design and I find myself wrapped up in social media. It’s tricky.
So let’s look at a few highlights. The current New In page of the website is looking fantastic with my new range of quilting fabrics. There are now seven inspirations ebooks. There are now several quilts and patterns for sale. I have just launched the Colour For Quilters ecourse. This extends my work done between 1996 – 2018 on colour in gardening. Colour is my thing. I am still dyeing and now printing my own fabrics.
Do I have plans for 2019? It’s more work for little miss workaholic and I aim to build that audience and get positive vibes and sales with new products. There’s everything to play for. See you on the other side. Stay tuned for more exciting textiles and quilts.
Words, work and images copyright Karen Platt 2018 (just!)
I said I had a lot to finish and add to the website before the New Year and I am almost there. Just the new ecourses to add – Colour Confidence For Quilters and Hand Embroidery For Textile Artists. Looking forward to launch those before New Year’s Eve.
Yesterday I launched the new Bells of St. Clements quilt for sale. Alongside it the quilt pattern and tutorial was also launched. It is a bright and cheery design. This is the latest pattern in my Skill Builders and is also the Summer Inspirations quilt. You can see the quilt here and the pattern is here
I am also working on venues to offer courses in person again in 2019 anywhere in the country or overseas if possible. Some courses are listed on the website. Remember you can travel with me to India for blocking printing workshops in Jan 2020. Sign up here. You can also sign up directly on the Colouricious website. They have been running tours successfully for more than 10 years.
Ready to launch are 17 new fabrics inspired by stained glass and tiles. These fabrics are unique and designed by me. I am listing them now under digital fabrics on the website.They are most suitable for the Cathedral Windows projects and tutorial.
As you can see I am concentrating on offering more fabric for quilters and more ecourses, patterns and tutorials for quilters and textile artists. It’s been a tough year but I am convinced that with my new, unique products and supplies, I will gain a foothold in the quilting market.
Just yesterday I block printed my first fabric for my new Winter Inspirations quilt that will be launched very soon. This will sell as printed panels and as metreage as well as a quilt kit. It is also hand dyed first, then block printed by hand.
I am looking forward to meeting many of you online, or in person throughout the New Year. Wishing everyone all the best.
New quilting fabrics have been added to the store this week.
It seems to have been a very long week. I have managed to get some hand dyed cotton scrims into the store. I then added some digital fabrics, which are always very exciting.
Do take a look and tell all your friends.
Scrim is such an interesting fabric. It takes the dye very well. It is great for textile art projects. In the spring I have a new range of colours planned. One of my most popular fabrics is the undyed scrim. It could be used in art quilts or landscape quilts.
The digital fabrics can be printed onto many types of fabric including cotton, linen and silk. They are available direct from me size A3 or as metreage, which is sent out for printing. How I would love one of those printing machines. Please note that the new kaleidoscopes print as a square not as A3, unless you order metreage.
But it is the design of the fabrics that interests me most. Pattern design and surface design thrill me – colour, arrangement and elements all coming together. You cannot follow my work and not understand pretty soon that I love digital design. Playing with my photos and being able to print out my creations or sell my designs as fabric and more, has brought me great joy for many years now. I have no doubt that my digital designs will become a main feature on the website.
The scrim and other hand dyed and undyed fabrics can be seen here
They make superb gifts for anyone interested in crafts, handmade and making.
New December 2018 sees the launch of new textile and art products. This month has got off with a big bang. It isn’t fireworks. It’s all about what is new in my store.
The latest product was added on 1 December 2018. The art prompts inspiration ecourse This is an excellent way to get creating every day for 12 months for just 60 gbp. You’ll find a dedicated, closed fb group page plus booklets for every month. Lots of ideas to keep you creating throughout the year.
New knitting patterns have just been added to my Ravelry knitting pattern store. Keep checking back because a backlog means I am adding new patterns now. You will not want to miss the newest shawl pattern I have designed.
Those are the latest launches, so what does the rest of December have in store? The latest quilt will be finished and published as a quilting tutorial and pattern. The quilt itself will also be on sale. The next quilt is designed. I am hoping to get that launched this month too – that’s the Winter quilt design.
I shall very shortly be uploading the Winter Inspirations ebook. If you are looking for a Xmas gift for someone creative, this is perfect. Just 7 gbp for enough inspiration to keep you going for years. The Inspiration Churches ebook will be launched too and would also make the perfect gift.
Last of all, I think, I have another two ecourses to launch shortly – Colour for the Quilter (beyond the colour wheel) and Creative Hand Stitching. Check for details on the website.
Don’t forget that there are already many products already on the website – supplies, ebooks and ecourses that make the perfect Xmas gift for all your friends. You can also visit my Etsy store or artfinder store for gifts. I sure could do with the support.
Book review Beginner’s Guide to Linocut by Susan Yeates, softback published by Search Press. ISBN 9781782215844, price 9.99 available from www.searchpress.com
A slim yet good guide to linocuts for beginners at a very reasonable price. Every step is explained and you will quickly be able to make prints. Try your hand at 10 projects by using the full-size templates. You can also inject your own creativity and make your own designs. Find out about linocut, materials, workspace, techniques, projects and templates. Discover how to draw, cut, print and repeat. Great step by step instructions with colour photos making it so easy to follow. Fun projects. I found the section photograph to linocut very interesting. This book covers more than just the basics, including working with text and two-tone prints, printing wrapping paper, gift tags and cards, labels, colour blends and printing on fabric. Recommended for beginners.